Water purification in Zambia
Designing of a low-cost unit for the removal of nitrate and lead from groundwater.
The pollution of groundwater in Zambia causes serious problems regarding the drinking water supply in the cities, more specifically, in the peri-urban areas of Lusaka and Kabwe. There are multiple causes for the raised levels of pollutants in the groundwater. In Lusaka the release of nitrates in water is due to a failing design of septic tanks and environmental dumping in the poor peri-urban areas. In Kabwe the historical lead mining heavily contaminates the water. Approximately 1,8 million community members, mainly women and children, are exposed to this pollution. Exposure can lead to severe health problems such as the blue baby syndrome, infertility and even paralysis.
The first stage of this project takes place in the spring. The Humasol Spring team will attempt to document the level of contamination in the area by sampling the groundwater on different locations at fixed time intervals. Supported by the collected data, the Spring team will try to raise awareness of the government and convince them of the possibilities of this project. The second stage of the project is during the summer. The Summer team will focus on the design of the Nitrate Remover Unit for Lusaka and the Lead Remover Unit for Kabwe. The units will be constructed on-site using local materials while keeping an eye on the budget. Eventually they will be implemented as a prototype in two selected schools in the area. This project will be carried out in cooperation with the local NGO ENVAROS. The long term objective is to enable ENVAROS to show functional prototypes to the government and investors and as a result acquire the means to build multiple units and provide the rest of the community with purified drinking water.
Hellen De Winter
Sam Van Dyck
Gloria de Pietri
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